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Released: President Gordon B. Hinckley

By Emily Milner

I was on my mission when President Hinckley announced the creation of new smaller temples, one hundred temples by the end of the century. That’s the first example that comes to mind, of when I felt the Spirit tell me that President Hinckley was a prophet of God. As a missionary I saw how much strength came from temple attendance. Those members who had sacrificed to make temple covenants brought depth and strength to their branches. I read the announcement of smaller temples and rejoiced. I felt… that thrill of the Spirit, the confirming testimony that I always welcome, telling me that President Hinckley, in this new direction, was led by God.

And I’ve felt that same confirming witness many times: sitting in the Conference center as I heard him tell the story of the black walnut tree that became the new pulpit; listening to him preach “All thy children shall be taught of the Lord, and great shall be the peace of thy children” to the saints in Guayaquil, Ecuador; feeling the sudden hush of the Marriott Center crowd as he walked into a BYU devotional and waved his cane at us.

I’m glad for his sake that he has been released from this life, led to the next, reunited with his beloved wife. But oh, I will miss him.

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About Emily Milner

(Poetry Board) graduated from BYU in Comparative Literature, but it was long enough ago that most of what she learned has leaked out. She would like to mention other hobbies or interests, but to be honest she spends most of her free time reading (although she does enjoy attempting yoga). She used to blog at hearingvoices.wordpress.com. For now, though, Segullah is her only blogging home, and it's a good one.

17 thoughts on “Released: President Gordon B. Hinckley”

  1. I remember President Hinckley being called as the prophet the day after I received my patriarchal blessing. I was a sophomore in high school at the time. When I look back at all the changes that have occurred within me since then, and now that I am almost 30, it will always be true that for the most crucial parts of my growing up years as I formed and developed my testimony, dear President Hinckley was there through it all.

    All of the firesides, conference talks, devotionals, addressed to young and single adults made such an impact on me. When I served my mission and he came to Paraguay for the dedication of the temple, it was unforgettable. I will miss him dearly.

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  2. My kids are kind of in shock. I think we all kind of thought he'd just keep living forever. I loved his sense of humor, too. It really made me feel like I knew him.

    I bet he's so happy now — to finally be with his wife. He seemed so tired last conference — probably tired of constantly trying to get all of us to listen to him. I'm really going to miss his conferences addresses.

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  3. My kids are in shock too. One of them said: "But he's been the prophet my whole life." I remember feeling like that when President McKay died. I was only nine, but he was the only prophet I'd ever known, and I wasn't sure that life would ever be the same.

    I was touched that my teenage boys dressed up(white shirts and ties) for school today out of respect for this great man.

    The thing I loved most about President Hinckey was his radiant optimism.

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  4. I think the best part about Pres. Hinckley was that he made each and every church member feel like they had a personal relationship with him. He was so easy going and so quick to smile and laugh, and yet so well spoken and educated that you couldn't help but feel like Heavenly Father had definitely picked the right man for the job.

    Praise to the Man indeed, what an awesome life.

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  5. I just came home to a message on our answering machine from our neighbor who is an active member of the Baptist church. "I wanted to call and tell you how sorry I am to hear about the loss of your president," she said. "And I was wondering if it would be okay if I brought dinner over tonight."

    I haven't been so touched in a very long time.

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  6. I have lurked here for quite some time, but never commented. However, today I must. First, Sharlee what your neighbor did & said made me cry. THAT is the spirit of what President Hinckley has been trying to teach us all. Tolerance and kindness. Second, I too have felt the stirrings of the Spirit testify to me that this man truly was the mouthpiece for The Lord. My husband tells a story of seeing him in the underground parking lot of the Joesph Smith Building in SLC and President Hinckley zipping by in his little golf cart… stopping.. going backwards to say to Jefe "how do you like my new car?" Then laughing and zipping off again. His sense of humor was evident in the sparkle in his eye. He will be missed, but what a sweet reunion, I'll bet, took place last night!
    Thanks for the inspiration!

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  7. I will miss him. That smile, those sparkling eyes, the unfailing testimony of our Savior. When he spoke, I could feel the love of the Lord coming through. I'm so glad he can be with his sweet wife again.

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  8. Sharlee, what a wonderful neighbor. Thanks everyone for your comments (feel free to continue to share). I have felt the need to… connect with people today, to read and listen to others' memories of President Hinckley. It strengthens me to read of others who feel the same way I do about him.

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  9. Emily, I've felt that need, too, and have been trolling the bloggernacle and crying for two hours. This is the first prophet to die with the internet really in full swing, and this is really the first opportunity we all have to reach out to each other in an entirely new way. I remember after President Kimball died, I spent an entire day on the phone with all my friends — doing largely the same thing that's happening in the blog world today — sharing memories and feelings. It's been really wonderful to do.

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  10. Amen, Emily. We all miss him, but we're all glad for him. It sort of makes life feel shorter when people we love die. It's hard to imagine life without them, so I sort of gap between the rest of life to imagine when I'll be with them in heaven, and it makes the wait seem shorter.

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  11. Thank you for sharing these beautiful experiences, feelings, and thoughts. I am so grateful to belong to a loving, grateful people, led by meek and noble prophets, including this very special prophet with whom we have to part for a time. Let's honor him by living "after the manner of happiness," more and more every day (2 Nephi 5).

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